Longships Lighthouse

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Longships Lighthouse
Longships Lighthouse - geograph.org.uk - 188226.jpg
Longships lighthouse from the seaward side
Longships Lighthouse is located in Cornwall
Longships Lighthouse
Location Land's End, Cornwall, England
Coordinates 50°4′1″N 5°44′49″W / 50.06694°N 5.74694°W / 50.06694; -5.74694Coordinates: 50°4′1″N 5°44′49″W / 50.06694°N 5.74694°W / 50.06694; -5.74694
Year first constructed 1795 (1st); 1875 (2nd)
Automated 1988
Height 35 m (115 ft)
Focal height 35 m (115 ft)
Current lens First Order Dioptric
Intensity 14,400 Candela
Range 15 nmi (28 km; 17 mi)
Characteristic White and Red Isophase every 10 seconds (light 5 seconds, eclipse 5 seconds)
Fog signal One second blast every 10 seconds
ARLHS number ENG 069
Longships lighthouse from the landward side

Longships Lighthouse is a navigation aid about 1.25 mi (2.01 km) off the coast of Lands End in Cornwall, England, UK. It stands on Carn Bras, the highest of the Longships islets which rises 39 feet (12 m) above high water level. The lighthouse has been unmanned since 1988.


The original tower was built in 1795 to the design of Trinity House architect Samuel Wyatt. The lantern was 79 feet (24 m) above sea level but very high seas obscured its light.[1]

In 1869 Trinity House began constructing a replacement.[2] The building of the present granite tower used much of the equipment that had previously been used in the construction of the Wolf Rock Lighthouse.[2] The tower was first lit in December 1873 having cost £43,870 to build.[2] Even after these improvements, the S.S. Bluejacket was wrecked on rocks near the lighthouse on a clear night in 1898, nearly demolishing the lighthouse in the process.


The current lantern, which has a range of 11 nautical miles (20 km; 13 mi), emits one long five-second flash every ten seconds. Seaward flashes are white but they become red - due to tinted sectors - for any vessel straying too close to either Cape Cornwall to the north or Gwennap Head to the south-southeast.

Fog horn signals sound every ten seconds.


  1. ^ Trinity House website; Longships lighthouse; retrieved April 2010
  2. ^ a b c Nicholson, Christopher (1995). Rock lighthouses of Britain The end of an era?. Whittles Publishing. pp. 72–73. ISBN 1-870325-41-9.